I have a Facebook friend (in real life, they are an acquaintance) who feels very passionately – fanatical I might say- about a few topics. And I find the act of posting your controversial opinions on Facebook is very interesting.

For the most part, it is only acceptable for one side of the debate to respond – if someone tries to voice an alternate opinion they generally get lynch mobbed. This particular debate is on abortion – and this person is pro-life. I don’t know if I would ever have an abortion personally (well at this point in my life, I certainly won’t – but had I been faced with that choice earlier, I am not sure what I would have done) – but I have friends who have had them and I support their decision, which would make me a ‘pro-choice’ person.

This particular Facebook debater regular posts articles and opinions that are adamant and makes it clear that his words are fact, and other opinions are not acceptable.   Things like: noone should ever hold the power of life and death over another, no matter the reasons, excuses or justifications.  This statement, after the numerous other posts, makes want me want to chime in with mind opening queries, but I refrain – Facebook debates aren’t pretty.

So I did a status update – not tagged or directed anyone, but puzzling to those that might notice it.. something like “with that amount of conviction, you better be a vegetarian”.  I smile inside – I am pretty sure the person it is directed at will never see it, but it gave me some inner satisfaction.

Then I find out this person is a not only not only not a vegetarian – but they hunt!  And oppose gun control laws!  I am exploding with counter-points and questions – hence this blog post :)

How can you feel so strongly about abortion, yet be ok killing an animal?  How is it abhorrent to allow ‘weapons’, such as a Doctor who perform abortions, to exist in our society, but it is a ‘right’ that anyone, however unfit, be able to carry weapons which can kill instantly and indiscriminately?

I actually am dying to ask this person these questions.  But since they are only an acquaintance, I don’t really know how they would respond – so I don’t feel comfortable.   What would the conversation be like in real life?  Is this person as opinionated in an actual conversation, or does social media bring out one side of their personality?  Do they realize what kind of perception they are putting out there to the online world?  Don’t they worry about offending or annoying friends or clients?  If I was to put any counter-point on their Facebook timeline, I not only get their response – but all their friends responses as well.   I saw it happen on this person’s particular timeline – someone questioned the train of thought and the results were not pretty.

I couldn’t bring myself to respond on Facebook (I actually had a response typed once and deleted it before posting) – but as a consummate debater and consensus builder, I had to put my opinion out there.  So there it is.  If you feel like diplomatically commenting, please do – but any extremist, offensive comments will be deleted :)

 

 

A couple of years ago I found a challenge to submit a 25 Word story. I can’t remember what website it was on, but I submitted a few stories. 
I stumbled across the stories yesterday and I thought they were good pieces – I couldn’t believe I wrote them!?

Here they are:

Become One
The dichotomy is expressive and colourful vs professional and calculating. To join them proudly is challenging.   Two halves give birth to a fulfilled, whole being.

Life
Begin with atmosphere and lightning? Impossible.   Yet here we are – conscious. There is a force, yet unnamed, that really drives life. Open your mind.

U Roq
A spirit is born. Hair of fire and liquid elegance. S/he battles the enemies of progress: exploding ignorance, dousing anger and always, always seeing beauty.

I was prompted to recall a time when I felt gut-wrenching nervousness.  And as I start to gear up for the 3rd (!) Kamloops Timeraiser it is easy to recall such a situation.

When I heard about the Timeraiser – an event created by Framework in Toronto 11 years ago – I thought to myself: ‘this has to come Kamloops’.  After pursuing the Timeraiser organization for over a year to bring their event to Kamloops, they eventually decided they wouldn’t bring here – but I could host it myself.  Awesome – I love hosting parties, but for this particular event I needed money and support.

chequeSo after socializing the idea and finding support, the day actually came when my first sponsor, NRI Distribution, sent me a $5000 sponsorship cheque.

Fear, disbelief, apprehension, insecurity – all welled up inside me.  Are they crazy putting this much faith in me to pull this off?  Can I pull this off?  What I do next?  How do I pay him back if I screw up?  Eek!

But whenever I am under pressure – life becomes clearer…  Just focus on the next step.  I can’t say I felt optimistic or that the fear disappeared, but I knew that if I just kept doing the right steps one after the other I would get the job done.

And I did!  And at some point in the following weeks I started to get excited knowing it would work out.  Those feelings of fear changed to pride, gratitude, excitement, enthusiasm and relief!

This is the story of how my grandfather, Woodward Stewart McKeough, earned the Croix de Guerre with a silver star on April 28th 1945.   Stewart was part of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons in the Canadian Army and was part of the effort which finally closed the Falaise Gap – a decisive victory which led to the liberation of Paris and the retreat of the Germans across the Seine.

On 20 August 1944 Lieutenant W.S. McKeough was ordered to find and determine the exact limits of the gap, if any, southeast of the Trun, through which the enemy was escaping from the Falaise pocket.  He succeeded in working his way with his Troop Sergeant through very difficult country to a position on Hill 117.  There he saw large column of enemy infantry and transport moving northeast between his position and Chambois.  This information was immediately reporting through Regimental Headquaters to a Canadian Corps and resulted in action being taken which finally closed the gap between Trun and Chambois.

Having done this.  Lieutenant McKeough immediately started to engage the enemy, inflicting numerous casualties both in vehicles and personnel, as well as contributing to the further demoralization and confusion of the enemy.  Lieutenant McKeough stayed in this area in spite of heavy sniper, mortar and 88-mm fire,  He continued to engage the targets within range until all ammunition was used up.

The initiative, coolness under fire, complete disregard of personal safety, and skillfull handling of the troop, undoubtedly contributed greatly to the successful closing of the German escape route betwen Trun and Chambois.

And I am extraordinary lucky that he returned from the war in one piece, has been an inspiration to me my entire life and is indeed still alive and well today at age 91 :)

It is hard to walk the line between honouring our veteran’s bravery, glorifying war and remembering the past so we can create a better future.   I am proud of what my grandfather did, as odd as it feels to be proud of someone for killing another, and I accept that man-to-man combat was required of citizens at that time to build a better life – for themselves, and indeed their children.

I think world peace may achieved one day, if we remain grateful for what we have and continually grow to accept others for who they are.  I actually think Remembrance Day embodies both those sentiments beautifully – we make a nationwide effort to show our gratitude to our veterans and teach our children to remember what other have done for us.  And in our ceremony we also show our acceptance for who these veterans were in war as well as who they are today.

My deep thought of the day. If you aren’t on a Mastery Path in some area of your life, you are simply, slowly declining….

Mastery Curve

Mastery Curve

Image from http://www.actualized.org/articles/mastery

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